British Royals Attend Gurkha Anniversary Pageant

  June 9, 2015 at 8:14 pm by

Queen Elizabeth II, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales and Prince Harry attended a pageant at the Royal Hospital Chelsea today to celebrate 200 years of Gurkha service to the British Crown.

They were joined by the Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, for the event.

A large display of battle reenactments and Nepalese cultural displays honoured the Gurkhas, Nepalese soldiers who have served in the British Armed Forces since 1815 when they were originally part of the East India Company army and later the Indian army. After India received independence from Britain in 1947, the Gurkha regiments were split between the British and Indian Armed Forces. The pageant was narrated by Joanna Lumley and Dan Snow. A minute’s silence was also held at the beginning of the pageant in memory of the victims of the recent earthquake in Nepal.

Prior to the pageant, Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip and Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah attended a reception for current and formed Gurkhas and their families, meeting with some of the Gurkha soldiers who have received the Victoria Cross, Britain’s highest military honour. They also viewed an exhibit put on by the Gurkha Museum featuring artefacts from throughout the soldiers’ history.

Prince Charles and Prince Harry meanwhile met with supporters of the Gurkha Welfare Trust which provides financial assistance to retired veterans. The father and son posed for photos with servicemen from the Brigade of Gurkhas. Prince Harry served with members of the 1st Battalion, The Royal Gurkha Rifles during his 2008 tour of duty in Afghanistan.

Prince Charles and Prince Harry pose for photos with Gurkha soldiers during a reception marking 200 years of Gurkha service to the British Crown, June 9

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